August 24, 2015
by admin

Win Sunday Lunch with Santa

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The Holiday Inn are running a competition to win Sunday lunch with Santa.

With a week left of the summer holidays, why not get your kids to design a Christmas card and enter the competition?

You have until the 30th of September 2015 to enter. Hand in your design at reception and receive a little treat!

For further information, contact Ceri on 02920 528132 or email

July 31, 2015
by admin

Three Years On: Looking Back

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Against all odds, I’ve struggled on for another year! Here’s a self indulgent look back at the highlights of the last twelve months.

I kicked off August with an exclusive look at some amazing Lego castles, including our very own Castell Coch. This story was picked up by Wales Online, I got a mention in the Chicago Sun Times and even inspired Cadw’s spring marketing campaign. Things could only go downhill.

Chicago Sun Times screenshot

In September I unearthed a classic track called “Tongwynlais”. I always thought we should have our own theme tune.

Tongwynlais was thrust onto the world stage in September when Welsh heart throb Matthew Rhys tried to convince everyone he grew up in Castell Coch. I’m afraid to think how many people believed him.

October through April was a blur. After a quick skim through “Politics for Dummies”, I spent six and a half months covering the Cardiff North campaign. I organised a Tweet chat and attended five hustings. They got a bit repetitive after the second one but I was determined to plough on. Playing hustings bingo helped.

The Election Movie

I flexed my artistic muscles in November and produced a flimsy article showcasing my Cardiff landmark posters. If I knock out another six, I can make a calendar. Suggestions on a postcard please.

Visit Cardiff posters

The internet exists solely of cats and listicles these days so I jumped on the bandwagon and wrote “15 Things that Put Tongwynlais on the Map in 2014“. Sadly there were no cat stories I could shoe in so it wasn’t a huge success.

Article title graphic is always there to cover breaking news so when the Iron Bridge was closed I was on the case straight away. This mainly involved sitting in the Lewis reading Twitter. Thankfully the bridge was fixed and life returned to normal: Residents’ plans to build a cable ferry weren’t needed.

The year drew to a close with an exclusive look at Gayle Rogers’ new range of artwork on sale at Castell Coch.

Castell Coch print

After the election, I took it easy for a few weeks. June saw the village celebrate the first joint Whitchurch and Tongwynlais Festival.

Feeling refreshed and invigorated, I decided to end the year with a challenge. I set out to write a post every day for the whole of July. This is post number 31 so I did it! Well done me. Check them all out in the archive.

Article collage

Things are going to be a bit quiet over the next two months. I’m going to have a break and think about the future of the site.

What do you think of Head over to Facebook or Tweet us. If that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other ways to get in touch.

Thanks to all the people who’ve been featured on the site this year and to everyone who’s supported me by sharing articles, sending me tips and taking part in conversations.

Picture – zenat_el3ain

July 30, 2015
by admin

Old Photos of Tongwynlais – Part 4

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We’ve been sent some more old photos of the village for you to enjoy.

This shot over the rooftops appears to have been taken from a hill overlooking the village in the direction of the castle. You can see the old Walnut Tree Viaduct in the distance.

Old photo of Tongwynlais

This shot of St Michael’s Church shows the lack of pavement on Merthyr Road. You can compare this with how it looks today in our “Then and Now” series.

St Michael's Church

The A470 is now where the canal was so the houses to the right must be Railway Terrace. You can see Castell Coch very faintly in the distance.

Canal lock

If you have any information about these photos, we’d love to hear from you.

You may also like part 1, part 2 and part 3 of this series.